John Beers made history in 1864 when he became the first person to employ a foot-powered dental drill in the United States. Unlike its predecessor, the hand-operated drill, Beers’ invention gave him more control over the force applied to the patient’s teeth, and kept his hands free for better maneuverability. The foot-activated drill provided him a level of power that he never had access to before, allowing him to deliver more precise treatments.
James Beall Morrison may have been the first to patent a foot-powered dental drill, but it was the design created by Beers that truly revolutionized the industry. Advanced for its time, the drill made by Beers became a widely-used fixture throughout the United States and paved the way for future generations of dental equipment.
Beers’ dental drill was a machine of uncomplicated design. The sharpened steel drill bit was paired with a foot pedal attached to it by a belt. In utilizing the device, the user would press on the pedal to initiate the spinning of the bit.
Although it was an upgrade from the hand-powered dental drills of its period, the foot-powered dental drill had some shortcomings. It wasn’t easy for dentists to regulate the speed of the drill bit using this tool, and after extended use, the drill bit was likely to become overheated and lose its sharpness.
Although it was not without flaws, the foot-powered dental drill proved to be a huge step up from the hand-powered dental drills before it. Dentists no longer had to worry about their hands being tied as they worked on patients’ teeth – they could gain greater dexterity due to the added torque given off by the newfound technology. Adaptezd by dental practices across the nation, this drill then maintained its prevalence for more than half a century.
Post time: 2023-06-27